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Alcorn State University Announces Notable Keynote Speakers, Agenda for the Inauguration of M. Christopher Brown II as the 18th President

Alcorn State University in celebration and recognition of its 18th President M. Christopher Brown II has orchestrated an inaugural weekend filled with outstanding keynote speakers from universities and professional organizations from around the nation.

“A presidential inauguration is a significant occasion in the life of a university,” says Dr. Josephine Posey, co-chair Inaugural Committee. “A time to reflect and celebrate our accomplishments and rich history, and confirm with confidence a future of great promise.”

The inaugural schedule of events kickoff in Vicksburg on Friday, April 15th at 9:00 a.m. with a Symposium on the Future of Black Colleges in America panelists include well-known researchers and other policy makers from around the nation: Dr. James Earl Davis, Temple University; Dr. Boyce C. Williams, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education; Dr. James T. Minor, Southern Education Foundation; Dr. John Michael Lee Jr., The College Board; Dr. Kassie Freeman, Southern University System; Dr. Eurmon Hervey Jr., Edward Waters College; Dr. Carol Camp Yeakey, Washington University and others.

The symposium will be followed by a salute to the 18th president’s mother and family at the First Mother’s Luncheon at 12 noon featuring Herman “Skip” Mason Jr., the 33rd general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated as the keynote speaker. Representatives from the UNCF will also be on program and the ASU Women’s Chorale will honor the University’s first mother with special selections.

On Saturday, April 16th an Ecumenical Prayer Service will be held in the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel at 8 a.m. Renown guest clergy will be in attendance with President Brown’s own pastor – Reverend Dr. Robert E. Fowler Sr. delivering the inaugural prayer service homily. Pastor Fowler is the senior pastor of the 12,000 plus member Victory Missionary Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. Male and female members of the M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge of Mississippi, PHA will serve as ushers for the service. Mississippi House of Representatives Majority Leader Tyrone Ellis will give the prayer of endowment.

M. Christopher Brown II, Ph.D. will be formally invested with the instruments of office, including the proper symbols and academic regalia at 1:00 p.m. during the Presidential Investiture ceremony. U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Senator Willie Simmons and Mississippi Representative Alyce G. Clarke along with college presidents and leadership from national associations and corporate boards will be on hand to mark the moment when Dr. Brown is formally installed as the 18th president of Alcorn State University. Mrs. Susan Cayton Woodson, great granddaughter of Hiram Rhodes Revels (Alcorn’s first president) will make a special tribute to Dr. Brown. Dr. Samuel White, another inaugural committee co-chair states, “Dr. Brown is a distinguished educator, who has constantly reminded us that this inauguration ceremony must serve as an opportunity to reflect on Alcorn State University’s 140th year history and affirm the University’s commitment to academic excellence, possibilities and educating students of high character, competence and compassion.”

The final day of inauguration events will take place on Sunday, April 17th in Natchez at Zion Chapel A.M.E. church where Alcorn’s first president Hiram Rhodes Revels served as pastor. Greater Faith Worship Center of Fayette and 4th Ward Alderman Ernest “Tony” Fields will provide music during the service. Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first female bishop in the A.M.E. church and the presiding prelate for the 13th Episcopal District, will preach the official inauguration sermon. Bishop McKenzie also serves as national chaplain of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

The inaugural finale will be a “Taste of Natchez on the Bluffs” reception at the Smith-Bontura House at 2:00 p.m.

For more information on the inauguration, including schedule of inaugural events and sponsorship opportunities, call 601.877.6111. To RSVP and purchase tickets, visit www.alcorn.edu/inauguration .

See abbreviated agenda below:

Friday, April 15, 2011 VICKSBURG CAMPUS CELEBRATION

9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Symposium on the Future of Black Colleges in America

12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. First Mother’s Luncheon

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Campus Tours (on your own)

8:00 p.m. - 12:00 midnight “Home of the Braves” Concert

Saturday, April 16, 2011 LORMAN CAMPUS CELEBRATION

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Ecumenical Prayer Service

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Alcorn Family Gospel Brunch


 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Presidential Investiture Ceremony

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Celebration Dinner (private, formal attire)

7:00 p.m. - 12:00 midnight Purple and Gold Presidential Ball (formal attire)

Sunday, April 17, 2011 NATCHEZ CELEBRATION

11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Presidential Inauguration Worship Service

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. “A Taste of Natchez on the Bluffs” Reception